National Geographic worth it? Going ashore?

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1,043 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Did the "drive-by" of an iceberg off Greenland on a Trans-Atlantic years ago. Interesting.

My wife tells the story of growing up in the early 1950s with her army colonel father and traveling across the US on assignment changes. Her favorite: driving through NYC past the Empire State Building and her father telling her to look out the back window... About the same as an Antarctica "drive-by."

Heading for the White Continent next month and south of the Arctic Circle on Fram. Changed the booking from a "drive-by" at about half the price several years ago. Well worth the difference.
ExPerth, Now Melb Aus
778 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by tourdirector

I can't speak for other providers, but I KNEW we were on the right ship the first time we stopped to watch a pod of whales.
Has happened several times a day on every one of my voyages. All part of the experience.

And most noteworthy, every group of passengers had a ship's naturalist or photographer with them - identifying species, pointing out behaviors, giving camera tips, etc.
Not exclusive to the Explorer. All the expedition companies pride themselves in their expedition teams. I have travelled with roughly 70 different expedition team members and every single one has been highly skilled and passionate about the region.
And as the majority of the expedition team members work freelance you will find they have worked on most of the ships over the seasons - sometimes 3 or 4 different ships per season.

I'm no expert, yet he was cheerful and more than patient with our composition and camera setting questions... at midnight... when he was certainly off the clock and could have ignored us.
Technically they are not off the clock until they are home. In all my expeditions I have never witnessed any member of a team sending someone away so they could be off the clock or have time to themselves.

*It's only once in a lifetime until you get there. I can't wait to go back!
Agree 100% - polar travel should come with a warning "This is absolutely NOT a once in a lifetime trip" !! I think I decided 3 days into my first trip and 6 weeks later when I got home I rang the bank and started preparing for trip number 2 just 12 months later. Then oops suddenly it was 4 trips in 5 years.
Its an addiction and apparently there is no cure.
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Kapitan Khlebnikov Nov 2010 (West Antarctica, Weddell Sea, Riser Laarsen Coast, Sth Sandwhich & Sth Georgia Islands)
Kapitan Khlebnikov Dec 2011 (Final voyage - East Antarctica & Heard Island)
Sea Adventurer: Feb 2014 (East side of Antarctica Peninsular, South Georgia Is, Falkland Is).

Ortelius: Feb 2014 Bluff NZ, Ross Sea, West Antarctica, Peninsula, Peter 1st Island, Ushuaia
Other regions: too many to list so just the highlights:
P&O Oriana 1984 (Indian Ocean) and 1986 (Pacific Ocean), Superstar Virgo 2003 (Indian Ocean),
Radiance of the Seas: Nov 2014 Bravo Theatre Opera cruise - Noumea.